CASTLETON, Vt. – Five members of the Castleton University women's ice hockey team have received recognition from the New England Hockey Conference in the league's annual year-end awards, as released by the conference office on Thursday afternoon.
In major award winners, Castleton head coach Ashley Salerno was named Co-Coach of the Year and first-year forward Ali Stevens was tabbed NEHC Rookie of the Year.
Salerno recently completed her first regular season as a head coach, leading the Spartans to 12 wins and the three-seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Inheriting a roster from the previous season, the University of Vermont graduate dealt with and worked through the adversity of a short roster nearly the whole year. She will continue to pioneer the women's ice hockey team into her first postseason as a head coach.
Tying for the team lead with 19 total points – 10 goals and nine assists – Stevens was named top rookie and also earned a spot on the All-Rookie squad. With her 10 goals, she had the most in the conference for a freshman, while she was second in assists. Stevens was also responsible for four power-play goals and a game-winner.
Stevens's front-line partner Aimee Briand earned Second Team All-Conference honors for the first time. Following her freshman campaign the Barrington, N.H. native was named to the All-Rookie team, marking her other conference honor. During the 2017-18 season, Briand led Castleton with 11 goals and tied for the team-lead with 19 points. She ranked in the top 10 in the league in points and goals.
Defensively, Hannah Rose and Casey Traill earned recognition with the former and team captain joining the All-NEHC First Team, while Traill was named to the All-Rookie team. The players anchored the short-handed Spartan defense all season long while not necessarily playing their natural positions. Traill (4G and 5A) – a natural forward – and Rose (4G and 14A) – spent her junior season playing on offense – combined to score 27 points during the regular season.
Women's ice hockey returns to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday as they host the NEHC six-seed Southern Maine Huskies.
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